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Odyssey of the Mind Coming to Binghamton University

Me and Raina in 2008

I’m so excited for March 23rd to get here because I’ll be meeting up with one of my best friends from grade school, Raina, who I’ve not seen since 2008. Raina will be in town with her son Willie as he competes at the state level in Odyssey of the Mind. Willie placed first in the local competition in Albany and will be competing at the state level when the competition comes to Binghamton University on March 23rd.

This state level tournament of Odyssey of the Mind will showcase the creative solutions from the winners of the 17 regional tournaments throughout the state. The first and second place team in each problem and division qualify to advance to the World Finals.

What is Odyssey of the Mind? According to their website:

Odyssey of the Mind is an international educational program that provides creative problem-solving opportunities for students from kindergarten through college. Team members apply their creativity to solve problems that range from building mechanical devices to presenting their own interpretation of literary classics. They then bring their solutions to competition on the local, state, and World level. Thousands of teams from throughout the U.S. and from about 25 other countries participate in the program. The Odyssey of the Mind teaches students to learn creative problem-solving methods while having fun in the process. For more than twenty five years, Odyssey of the Mind has helped teachers generate excitement in their students. By tapping into creativity, and through encouraging imaginative paths to problem-solving, students learn skills that will provide them with the ability to solve problems — great and small — for a lifetime. The Odyssey of the Mind teaches students how to think divergently by providing open-ended problems that appeal to a wide range of interests. Students learn how to identify challenges and to think creatively to solve those problems. They are free to express their ideas and suggestions without fear of criticism. The creative problem-solving process rewards thinking “outside of the box.” While conventional thinking has an important place in a well-rounded education, students need to learn how to think creatively and productively.

Binghamton University has hosted the state level of the competition for more than 15 years and is in search for both volunteers and judges.  If you’ve got a little extra time to spare and would like to help out, click here to fill out a volunteer/judge form.

If you’d like to watch, our local regional competition is this weekend at Broome-Tioga BOCES on Glenwood Road from 8am-4pm and is free.  Local students will compete to go to States at BU on the 23rd.

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